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Album Review

Montresor – ‘Autopoiesis’ [Album Review]

On the one hand, Montresor’s ‘Autopoiesis’ reflects a certain type of harmonic chaos. On the other, it’s tight and exquisitely delightful.



Montresor ‘Autopoiesis’ album artwork
Montresor ‘Autopoiesis’ album artwork

Guitarist, composer, and avant-garde/prog-rock artist Cameron Pikó, aka Montresor, recently released his new album, Autopoiesis, the follow-up to his 2015 debut album, Entelechy.

Entelechy, a blend of prog-rock and fusion jazz, featured potent ’80s guitars and surprising time signatures, all enveloped in intense harmonic textures. Although Autopoiesis sounds different, the same elements of prog-rock and jazz fusion heard on Entelechy remain. They’re just employed another way.

Montresor states:

“The first album in nine years was a long time in the making, with some compositions dating back to 2018’s ‘February Album Writing Month’ challenge. Autopoiesis is an extended labour of love… paying tribute to a lesser-known subgenre of progressive music with a fascinating history, the short-lived Rock in Opposition (RIO) movement of the late ’70s. Influenced by RIO bands such as Henry Cow and Univers Zero, the music fuses technical instrumental progressive rock with classical instrumentation.”

The title of the album – Autopoiesis – refers to “the capacity of an entity to reproduce itself.”

Encompassing eight tracks, entry points on Autopoiesis include “Vanishing Fog,” which for some reason conjures up suggestions of Ravel’s “Bolero,” only less blatantly erotic and injecting almost-jarring twangy textures. As strange as the combination sounds, it works.

Bildungsroman,” with its discordant surf-rock intro, flows into an experimental melody tinted with jazz flavours and prog-rock tangs reminiscent of King Crimson, yet more innovative and unusual. All the traditional aspects are there, but it’s as if they were dipped in Dadaism.

Perhaps the best track on the album is the title track, suffused with an exotic, neo-classical feel that reveals and/or approaches a multi-layered sonata. There’s an aura of dark voluptuousness peeking out of the melody.

On the one hand, Autopoiesis reflects a certain type of harmonic chaos. On the other hand, it’s tight and exquisitely delightful.

Autopoiesis Track Listing:

1. Vanishing Fog
2. Farmland
3. Antinomies
4. Bildungsroman
5. Pyramid
6. Homunculus
7. The Fallen City
8. Autopoiesis

Run Time: 44:52
Release Date: May 24, 2024
Record Label: Independent